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Mothers Day

Mother’s Day is for sentimental dickheads reckons Laurence Inman. Anyone for Pain In The Arse Day?

I don’t do Mother’s Day.

I’ve got a mother. She’s rather old now, and has white hair. She’s recently undergone a serious operation and I’ve had her living here for a bit, but now she’s gone back home, because she’s very fit for an octogenarian.

I’d like to say she’s the best mother in the world, but I can’t because I’ve only ever had one, so I’ve got nothing to compare her to. She’s certainly the best mother I’ve ever had. I suppose yours is the best one you’ve ever had as well.

She had me. (Not the other way round; it’s very important to remember that.) Why she had me I don’t suppose even she knows, just as I don’t really know why I’ve had three kids. Then she spent a number of years keeping me alive, clothed, supplied with stuff, happy and surrounded by reasonably pleasant people. She knew from the start she’d have to do this and didn’t mind one bit, as far as I know.

I think I’ve done the same for my kids. I wanted to. And anyway, if you don’t they take them away.( I would have done it without that threat though.)

I get on fairly well with my kids and my mother. We have a laugh when we meet up, although I don’t suppose we really have all that much in common; the age-difference sees to that. Thinking back to my own childhood, I didn’t have my dad ‘joining in’ with what I was doing. Who wants that ? I didn’t, and I shouldn’t think he did either.

That about sums up parents and kids for me, as it probably does for everyone.

Everyone who’s being honest, that is.

That’s my biggest objection to ‘Mother’s Day.’ It’s dishonest.

I don’t have feelings for anyone on one particular day. I don’t think those feelings can be somehow contained in whatever giving someone a bunch of flowers, a box of chocolates, a daft card and a middle-of-the-road CD by some grinning bloke actually ‘means.’

I know who it does mean a lot to: shopkeepers, florists, Cadbury’s, card-makers and sentimental dickheads generally.

Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Easter, Father’s Day (same as Mother’s Day, only cheaper) Halowe’en, Christmas – at regular intervals throughout the year we are lined up, our ‘emotions’ ordered and marshalled, and then dispatched to the shops like obedient little consumers.

Come to think of it, most of our lives are like that.

We have to work and obey the people who pay us, without question.

Our leisure is also becoming just as regimented, if you think about it.

‘Don’t bother reading a book, learning a language, joining any kind of group, doing charity work! We’re the grown-ups, and we’ve got the weekend sorted for you, young people. Go into a big barn, pour untreated ethanol down your neck and beat each other up in the street. The government says it’s all okay.’

Like Marge Simpson before me, I’ve discovered a gap in the year’s calendar of days which are not religious festivals but simply occasions when we all have to scurry around like lemmings buying rubbish to give to people who don’t want it and throw it away an hour later.

Marge called it ‘Love Day.’

Mine is called PITA Day. PITA stands for Pain In The Arse.

Each person is allocated another person for whom they have to buy a present. You don’t know what the person wants or needs; you have to intuit that somehow. You don’t know where the present may be had; you have to waste a few days of your precious life finding out. The present costs more than you can afford; it doesn’t matter.

When you’ve found the person, the present and the money (this could take all year) you get it and give it to them.

Then they drop it in the nearest bin.

And that’s PITA Day. I think it’s ingenious.

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